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Doing business in 2020 and beyond has become more complex and technologically diverse than ever before in the history of humanity. In the past, buying off-the-shelf software solutions for running a business was all that was required. However, in today's climate, many of these cookie-cutter solutions are inefficient and inadequate for the specialty uses business owners need them for. In addition, the decrease in cost of custom software development has companies choosing the latter because of its personalization, scalability and crucial long term cost savings.
Because of this, business owners are starting to opt for more custom software solutions that solve the unique problems and challenges they face.
This begs the question of what exactly the custom software development process looks like, and why it's the best approach for a lot of businesses.
In this article, we'll look at the differences between off-the-shelf business software and custom software development solutions. We'll also explore the advantages of a custom software approach to running a business.
After understanding what custom software can do for a business, it should seem obvious that it's the best solution for long-term success and efficiency.
Simply stated, it refers to the creation of custom applications that are specifically designed to fit the requirements and needs of a business or organization.
These solutions are developed and designed only for an individual organization and address user needs in a precise manner. They're able to provide in-depth, exclusive solutions to solve problems and manage business-specific tasks.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf products are made to cater to as broad of an audience as possible. They don't do well at addressing specific issues that an individual organization faces. This has a tendency of making them unsuitable for organizations and businesses that have unique needs.
The custom development process is most often done by third parties. In some instances, in-house teams are able to take on custom software projects.
The process is very iterative. Changes to the software are constantly made as additional needs get identified.
For people still wondering if custom development is the best solution for their business, it's good to know what advantages come along with it. Many companies hire top custom IT developers or On-Demand Developers for staffing projects. To address this, here are 10 huge reasons why a business needs to strongly consider custom development services.
One of the most significant advantages of a custom software development solution is the overall flexibility it gives. In it, the business owner can decide the features that should be included depending on specific business needs.
Business needs change during periods of growth. It's normally quite simple to update custom software to handle the new requirements and challenges that are associated with business growth.
The flexibility custom software gives allows it to be much more efficient than standard off-the-shelf solutions. A custom application can assist with automation and help boost organizational collaboration. The increase of productivity and efficiency is one of many principal reasons why custom applications are needed to run a successful business.
Custom software applications are far more secure than standard software. Off-the-shelf software is far more likely to get targeted by internet hackers that a custom solution that's build for just one business.
When a hacker successfully hacks into a mainstream application, they'll instantly gain access to data from many companies. If they should choose to attempt hacking custom software, they'll only get access to the data of one business. This isn't a very rewarding venture for the majority of cybercriminals.
When a business owner hires custom development services, they are also given complete control over the security technologies and protocols that are integrated into the software. This allows the owner to choose what affordable technologies and security protocols best suit their business needs.
Custom development solutions allow a user to gain access to dedicated support teams that provide routine maintenance and in-depth technical support when or if needed.
This level of personalized support means that security loopholes and technical challenges will get resolved in far less time than it would require an off-the-shelf software maker to update their product on a macro scale.
Beyond that, with custom software, there is never the fear of a sudden discontinuation of product support like with large mainstream software developers. Custom developers typically provide maintenance and support for the lifetime of the software they build.
It might seem that having a custom software solution developed isn't necessarily a cost-effective decision to make. However, doing so will provide an organization with substantial savings in the long-term.
The productivity and efficiency gains custom applications bring to the table will quickly offset the initial costs of development. While it's true that off-the-shelf solutions are initially cheaper than custom solutions, the additional costs of licensing, training and finding alternatives begin to add up more than most business owners expect.
What's best, software development services allow the owner to plan out the entire development process. They can start out by developing the features that are most important. Then, depending on the budget, add more advanced features over the course of time.
When the process is broken up into smaller phases, it enables the user to test and give feedback on the product in order to improve it during future upgrades.
Most businesses and organizations use several different software systems across varying departments. This leads to integration and compatibility issues with off-the-shelf solutions. It also lowers productivity and reduces efficiency.
With custom software development solutions, the wide array of processes handled by multiple systems can easily be integrated into one centralized software program.
A custom application can quite easily be fully integrated into existing internal systems. Additionally, they can be specifically designed to accommodate any user's skill level. They can also be utilized to extend the functionality of the tools that are already in place, and can even be developed to function and appear similar to programs that employees are already familiar with.
Custom software development gives businesses and organizations a way to personalize the feel and look of their internal software. It ensures that the software seamlessly fits into the workflow of the organization.
A business will be able to help develop and design a proprietary system that's completely in-line with the business model, which helps promote the unique identity of a brand.
As a business begins to grow, needs start to become more complicated. Advanced tools are required to keep getting business done.
Software development services allow business owners to ensure that their software is scalable enough to accommodate future business growth. This gives a business the ability to grow at a faster pace without getting restricted by the limitations of inferior, inadequate software solutions.
The vast majority of the time, off-the-shelf software requires the purchase of additional hardware in order for it to run. This can become quite costly.
Custom software developers take the hardware capabilities already in existence into consideration when developing software solutions. This saves money by eliminating the need for additional hardware purchases.
One of the biggest benefits of getting software custom-developed is that it will be created in a way that supports your existing business. It doesn't force you to adapt to the software. When custom software is developed and integrated into your systems, it's done as seamlessly as possible.
Off-the-shelf software makes the buyer completely dependent on the software developer. The user must conform to the terms and conditions, the pre-established pricing set for upgrades and the future existence of the business the software was purchased from. After all, if they go out of business there will be no more support.
Custom software offers the advantage of using it for however long it remains vital to the operations of business. Of course, even custom solutions require maintenance at times. But the benefits it brings into a business are more than worth the small costs of maintenance and future upgrades.
Even if a business purchases the absolute top-of-the-line off-the-shelf software solution, it will become outdated in a relatively short period of time. Businesses typically outgrow the rigid and limited solutions provided by standard software products.
When software can no longer be scaled, it's definitely time to get to work on having custom software developed. Custom Software Development Services can more easily satisfy the requirements of a growing business while getting merged into the overall business objectives.
Custom-built software will create highly streamlined processes within a business. This is especially true for businesses that operate in multiple locations or branches.
Fully customized software will help in the structured accumulation of all business data in one centralized location, making it much simpler for workers to gain access to the most current versions of data, even if they are accessing it from different locations.
A bottlenecked supply chain is a huge sign that a business requires custom software solutions. It's a direct result of not having appropriate and effective systems in place that allow different teams and areas to have constant communication and align statuses to fulfill overall objectives.
Bottlenecks created by this issue end with lost opportunities and lowered customer satisfaction.
When a customer experience isn't fully satisfied, it leaves a door wide open for your competition to walk through. When a business begins to notice lower satisfaction ratings, higher volumes of complaints, or bad responses from customer surveys, it's time to explore custom software solutions that will provide the business with a targeted approach to the customer experience.
Beyond that, when a business looks to meet and exceed customer needs and expectations, they have to rely heavily on their supply chain. Internal bottlenecks slow down the whole process and puts order fulfillment at risk. In order to identify internal bottlenecks, a business must understand what causes them and how they can be prevented.
A business that implements custom business process management software will find that supply chain management operations are vastly improved. Optimal management of a business supply chain requires custom solutions that help properly guide all supply chain decisions.
After reading this far, it's clear that custom software development or hiring top skilled On-Demand Developers comes with many benefits.
Businesses and organizations should consider the complete lifecycle costs and the overall net value of custom software. When doing this, it becomes obvious that it saves money over the course of time.
While software purchased off-the-shelf will typically come with a lower initial cost, the long-term investment in a custom solution will give a business many more benefits throughout its lifecycle in terms of improved sales functions, better productivity and more robust efficiency.
To sum it up, custom software that's fully optimized to the objectives of a business will improve business functions in a way that off-the-counter software simply can't.
Fully optimizing the processes of a business can be lean and seamless through the use of custom software. Those who invest in it notice several spin-off benefits that they didn't even expect. It gives enterprises a higher level of control over all their operations while taking control over the growth process, which left unchecked by off-the-shelf solutions can become highly chaotic.
An enterprise that digitally driven by custom solutions automatically enables a shift of culture into a more proactive and open business. This is absolutely vital in today's competitive and challenging economy.
Custom development is the perfect approach for any business that has unique needs. Even after reading this far, some business owners might wonder if it's the right solution for their business. For those still questioning, here are some additional factors to take into consideration:
Unique Characteristics and Requirements - If the business has unique characteristics and requirements that can't be addressed by off-the-shelf solutions, custom software development is the best answer.
Products Not On The Market - If there aren't any products on the market that fully address and suit the needs of the business, a custom solution will need to get built.
Highly Specific Long-Term Goals - If the business has highly specific long-term goals or is seeking a way to raise the overall value of the business, custom development is the right direction to take.
Competitive Advantage - The net gains allotted from increased business efficiency and ongoing, personalized support gives any business employing custom software solutions a big competitive advantage over businesses who utilize solutions that aren't optimized to their needs.
Look into custom software solutions today and see what they can do to improve business operations.
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